exact

verb
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \
exacted; exacting; exacts

Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to call for forcibly or urgently and obtain from them has been exacted the ultimate sacrifice— D. D. Eisenhower
2 : to call for as necessary or desirable

exact

adjective

Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exhibiting or marked by strict, particular, and complete accordance with fact or a standard
2 : marked by thorough consideration or minute measurement of small factual details

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Other Words from exact

Verb

exactable \ ig-​ˈzak-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce exact (audio) \ adjective
exactor or less commonly exacter \ ig-​ˈzak-​tər How to pronounce exact (audio) \ noun

Adjective

exactness \ ig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs How to pronounce exact (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exact

Verb

demand, claim, require, exact mean to ask or call for something as due or as necessary. demand implies peremptoriness and insistence and often the right to make requests that are to be regarded as commands. demanded payment of the debt claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right. claimed the right to manage his own affairs require suggests the imperativeness that arises from inner necessity, compulsion of law or regulation, or the exigencies of the situation. the patient requires constant attention exact implies not only demanding but getting what one demands. exacts absolute loyalty

Adjective

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error. correct answers socially correct dress accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care. an accurate description exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth. exact measurements precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation. precise calibration nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination. makes nice distinctions right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault. the right thing to do

Do you exact or extract revenge?

Verb

The verb exact (as in, "exacting revenge" or "exacting a promise") is not as commonly encountered as the adjective exact, (as in "an exact copy" or "exact measurements"). Sometimes people will mistakenly use the more common verb extract when they really want exact. Extract can refer to removing something by pulling or cutting or to getting information from someone who does not want to give it. While both words refer to getting something they are used in different ways. You extract a tooth, but you exact revenge.

Did you know?

Verb

Exact derives from a form of the Latin verb exigere, meaning "to drive out, to demand, or to measure." (Another descendant of exigere is the word exigent, which can mean "demanding" or "requiring immediate attention.") Exigere, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix ex- with the verb agere, meaning "to drive." Agere has been a very prolific source of words for English speakers; it is the ancestor of agent, react, mitigate, and navigate, just to name a few. Incidentally, if you are looking for a synonym of the verb exact, you could try demand, call for, claim, or require.

Examples of exact in a Sentence

Verb They would not rest until they had exacted revenge. He was able to exact a promise from them. Adjective Those were his exact words. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. We don't know the exact nature of the problem. Predicting the path of hurricanes is not an exact science. The police have an exact description of the killer. Please take the most exact measurements possible. He is very exact in the way he solves a problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Try not to lie or widely embellish, in an effort to exact revenge on the robots. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 Stress can also exact a bodily toll, experts said, affecting sleep and appetite and causing other symptoms such as stomach discomfort, headaches and pain. Washington Post, 1 June 2021 Taliban fighters looking to exact revenge against journalists affiliated with Western media on Thursday shot dead the relative of an Afghan journalist for German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) who had left the country. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 20 Aug. 2021 In Afghanistan, the Taliban promised not to exact reprisal from people who have opposed the group’s takeover. Daric L. Cottingham, Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug. 2021 So, when choosing patient descriptors, doctors may reinforce biases rather than exact some biological relationship identified by researchers. Ashley Andreou, Scientific American, 7 June 2021 Peter Gelb, the general manager, has, like administrators at performing arts institutions everywhere, been trying to exact long-term concessions from the Met’s labor force, which the unions are strongly resisting. New York Times, 17 May 2021 So in order to explain why a black box model made a decision, we are forced to approximate—in other words, make an educated, but not exact, guess. Kareem Saleh, Forbes, 4 May 2021 To trim them to exact size, first cut the 15-degree angle on each end and then clamp them to the plywood pattern [13]. Neal Barrett, Popular Mechanics, 7 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The 1982 matchup would go down as the tightest race for governor in Illinois history, with Stevenson losing by less than 1 percentage point — 5,074 votes to be exact — to Republican incumbent James R. Thompson. Bill Ruthhart, chicagotribune.com, 8 Sep. 2021 It's formulated with shea butter, four oils (olive, coconut, jojoba, and hemp seed, to be exact), and aloe vera, all of which are great for moisture. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 8 Sep. 2021 And now that McGregor and Boorman have shown us the limits of these bikes on a stretch of road this far (all 13,000 miles of it, to be exact), now sounds like as good of a time as any to finally put one to the test. Breanna Wilson, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 In Here, My Dear, Gaye had ample time (73 minutes, to be exact) to explore all the contours of a breakup, though his perspective is often tinged with a spitefulness that stands in the way of his portraying both sides of the story. Gracie Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Sep. 2021 The parallels aren’t exact between Afghanistan and the affected Sahel countries – Mali, Niger, Chad, and Burkina Faso. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Sep. 2021 To be exact, the Tigers were 3-34-3 between 1960 and 1963. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, 1 Sep. 2021 One of the deepest unsolved problems, the dark energy/cosmological constant problem, is, why is the universe pervaded with the exact amount of dark energy necessary for life? Stephon Alexander, Wired, 31 Aug. 2021 Calculating out the exact dollar amount someone pays for transportation each year can be futile. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 29 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exact.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exact

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exact

Verb

Middle English exacten "to require as payment," borrowed from Latin exāctus, past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, enforce payment of or the performance of (a task), require, inquire into, examine" from ex- ex- entry 1 + agere "to drive (cattle), be in motion, do, perform" — more at agent

Adjective

borrowed from Latin exāctus, from past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, require, inquire into, examine, measure" — more at exact entry 1

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Dictionary Entries Near exact

exacerbate

exact

exacta

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Statistics for exact

Last Updated

11 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exact. Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for exact

exact

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to demand and get (something, such as payment or revenge) especially by using force or threats
used in phrases like exact a terrible toll and exact a high/heavy price to say that something has caused a lot of suffering, loss, etc.

exact

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: fully and completely correct or accurate
: very careful and accurate

exact

adjective
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \

Kids Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: completely correct or precise : accurate an exact copy the exact time

Other Words from exact

exactly adverb
exactness noun

exact

verb
exacted; exacting

Kids Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: to demand and get by force or threat They exacted terrible revenge.

More from Merriam-Webster on exact

Nglish: Translation of exact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exact for Arabic Speakers

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